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If I Were a Butler
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Season
Episode
11
Airdate
August 27, 2017
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"If I Were a Butler" is the 35th episode of Devious Butlers.

Summary

As Joe's trial draws nearer, Joanna and Tyson and all those closest to him grow evermore nervous as more evidence and testimonies are gathered - some more damning than others. Val may have been right in saying that this is her and Kathryn's chance to take the butlers down, which turns said butlers' attention to Kathryn as a possible guilty culprit to crimes outside the realm of Rochelle Little's murder. Still within this realm, though, Ben tells Ali something of great importance, and a grieving Rena inadvertently forces Joanna to question where the true blame lies for this whole series of events. Josh's business finds its footing, possibly paving the path for a whole new generation of devious butlers - assuming this one doesn't end up behind bars.

Plot

Teaser

Valentina Cortez remains on bed-rest in the downstairs of the Von Trump mansion, munching away at a bag of porkrinds and watching her daytime telenovelas, all the while left to think back and contemplate her life's choices...
Years before, in the South of France, we see Valentina with her sister Justine as the two of them are reading over an instruction booklet. "Seriously, sister of me, how you put together camera of the buggy, I know not of," Justine exclaims, helping Val set up bugs in her French apartment. "It's just a little bit of extra security," Val points out, "You can never be too safe." Justine scoffs at this, and Val continues, "If I'm ever to be killed then at least the police will be able to catch the culprit." "Well I no be the deathed!" Justine argues, "I'm the invincible! Death licks my dick!"
"We regret to inform you that your sister suffered a tragic accident," an officer says to Val over the phone, "She died. We are so sorry." Val is forced to take a seat, shocked by the news, and she goes on to question, "A- accident? What accident?!" "When working a party, Miss Dussault was on the roof and suffered a fall," the officer answers, but this makes no sense to Val. "How the hell do you fall off a roof?!" she beams, "Were there security cameras?!" "No, ma'am," the officer answers, "but there were four witnesses. Other workers of the party... she was engaged to one of them." And in that moment it all starts to click for Valentina, or at least in her mind it does. "What was the man's name?" Val asks, "That my sister was engaged to?" "Benjamin Gold, I believe," the officer answers, which is enough for Valentina, as she hangs up the phone. "Benjamin Gold..." she utters, a name she will not soon forget.
And then, just under a year ago, we see Valentina getting situated in the Del Barrio mansion, roaming around and planting her own personal bugs here and there. "Don't worry, Justine," the Spaniard whispers, "You will be avenged."
The munching continues as we return to the present day and Val finishes up her bag of porkrinds. Just in time too, as her phone begins to vibrate with Kathryn Kappelletti requesting to FaceTime. "You in yet?" Val questions, but Kathryn shakes her head. We see the stray Kappelletti currently standing outside her parked car in the driveway of the Del Barrio mansion. "What am I supposed to do?" she wonders, pointing out to Val that there's no reason anyone in that household would just let her inside. "That doesn't matter," Val makes clear, "Fake it till you make it. It's what I did the whole time I worked there." "But--" however, Kathryn is unable to finish as Jennifer Gold opens the front door to the mansion, having seen Kathryn outside. "May I help you?" Jennifer inquires, and Kathryn doesn't quite know what to say. "Um... my... vibrator," is the best Kathryn is able to come up with. Val, still on the call, just out of Jennifer's sight, facepalms upon hearing this. "Excuse me?!" the Scottish woman beams, and Kathryn nods. "Yeah, um, I... lent Liz my vibrator. Back when I didn't hate her with every fiber of my being." "I'm not sure Liz would 'ave your--" "Ugh, I don't have time for this," Kathryn rolls her eyes, "Get out of my way, Haggis," and with that she shoves her way past Jennifer, marching into the Del Barrio mansion and getting a ways away from her stepmother (lol) before holding up her phone to speak to Val. "If Rochelle was in fact murdered in the Del Barrio house then I'm willing to bet that it was in one of two places: the upstairs study or the basement," Val reveals, to which Kathryn questions, "And you have bugs in both rooms?" "I do," the maid makes clear, "But get moving fast before someone else catches on that you're there." Kathryn nods, setting off.
Jennifer, meanwhile, heads into the kitchen where Ben is currently making himself a sandwich. "Who was that?" he questions, in regards to the noise he heard coming from the front door. "Ay, me ole stepdaughter, Kathryn. Says Liz had her vibrator or summit and wanted it back." "Wait, what?!" Ben exclaims, "You let her in this house?!" "Ay, though she didn't really give me much choice," Jennifer answers, and Ben demands to know where Kathryn went. The Scottish woman shrugs though, and Ben sighs, jumping up from his seat in hopes of finding Kathryn before she does too much digging around.
Currently, Kathryn is finishing collecting the bugs Val had implemented in the study. "Good, now for the basement," Val says, but as Kathryn prepares to set off she hears her name being shouted for. It's Ben, roaming the upstairs halls. "Who the hell is that?!" Kathryn whispers into her phone, and Val rolls her eyes. "It's Ben," she reveals, going on to say, "You need to get moving, fast." Panicking, Kathryn shoves the bugs and her phone with Val still on the line into her bra, proceeding to peek her head out the study door where she sees Ben heading into one of the many bedrooms. Quickly, she exits the study and makes her way down the stairs, all before Ben re-emerges from the room. Kathryn then pulls her phone back out, only for Val to remark, "Those things almost look real. You're gonna have to give me the name of your doctor." Kathryn rolls her eyes this time though, and Val begins instructing the rich bitch on how to make it to the basement. Traveling down the many steps and going through what is pretty much a maze of a wine cellar, Kathryn collects each of Val's bugs one-by-one, including the ones in the very location where Joe snapped Rochelle Little's neck, not that either of them know that yet. "Okay, now get out of there!" Val orders, and Kathryn exits the basement, coming back upstairs to the main level of the Del Barrio mansion. "Hey!" Ben shouts from the top of one of the staircases, seeing Kathryn. "Run!" Val shouts, and Kathryn Kappelletti does just that, exiting the Del Barrio mansion, with Ben running after her. "What the hell were you doing in there?!" the butler demands to know, but Kathryn continues to ignore him, running across the pavement in six inch heels, finally making it to her car. Try as he might, Ben is unable to get to Kathryn in time before she has the key in the ignition, thus allowing her zoom off with all her evidence in tact.
Kathryn is next seen entering the Von Trump place, somewhat out of breath as she kicks off her shoes and makes her way over to Val who's still on bed-rest. The pregnant woman is with her laptop, and Kathryn proceeds to empty the dozens of bugs from her bra onto Val's lap. "Every last one of them," she exclaims, taking a seat next to the pregnant woman. "Excellent," Val exclaims, grabbing one of them to insert into her computer. Kathryn takes a look at all of them though. "Val, there's gotta be almost a year's worth of audio here. How are you going to sift through all of--" but Kathryn bites her tongue upon hearing the sound currently emanating from Val's laptop.
"Joe, do you have both her legs?" a familiar voice - Ben's voice - is heard saying. "Yes, now grab her arms and help me lift her up," Joe says in turn.
Val hits pause, and Kathryn turns the maid in shock. "How did you know exactly where to look...?" she questions, to which Val admits, "I had my suspicions... but you know what this means, right?" "It means that Generic White Guy really did it... He murdered my best friend." Val smiles though, pointing out that it means much more than that. "It means that we've got our proof. We've won, Kathryn... We finally got them..."

DEVIOUS BUTLERS

Act I

"Finally everyone's got the right ashes," Joe tells Joanna and Tyson, both of whom are dressed smart, as he reenters the DeWar mansion, "Just been over to mom's and she's putting up Jason's real urn. She'll meet us at the courthouse later." "How's Rena?" Joanna wonders, currently tying a tie around her neck over her dress, and Joe admits, "Not great, but I think he's gonna come through okay. It's been a few weeks now, and he's not as bad as he was when it happened." "During which time he's had no time to prep as a witness," Joanna points out, but Joe says, "The time for that is over anyway, isn't it? Rena would just be lying anyway, and any more character sh--" "Lying?" Tyson asks, confused, "Why would someone lie? Isn't that not allowed?" Joe looks to Joanna, and Joanna looks to Joe, and she finishes tying the tie, then removing it from her neck and draping it around Tyson's, tucking it under his collar as she begins to tighten and adjust it. "Joe," she utters, "you wanna field this one?" "Uh... sure," Joe says, stepping in close to his foster brother and finishing the job his wife started with the tie, "Lying is wrong, very wrong, but um... sometimes, people have to lie... to protect the people that they love." "Mama said liars never prosper," Tyson recalls, Joe now taking a step back, and Joanna tells her sort-of-brother-in-law, "Honey, if that were true, we wouldn't be living in a mansion." "So Mama lied?" "Not really..." Joe goes on. "But it wasn't true..." Tyson goes on, getting real confused now, and Joe just pats him on the shoulder and says, "Lying: mostly not good, sometimes... good." "A great new proverb for the ages," Joanna comments sarcastically, now pouring herself a glass of wine since her hands are free, and then, as she sips it, she assures her husband, "As it happens, I do have another testimony lined up in regards to your character. That D.A. fag - no offense to Josh - only has your fingerprint to go on, which they didn't even find in the initial report. Plus one little temper tantrum. I plan to go down hard on alla that. They're just grasping at straws." "Straws that Nadia's nudging towards them, most like," Joe sighs. "Who's Nadia?" they hear Tyson's voice saying, and they turn to where he was, only he isn't there anymore; he's now sitting at the table with a screwdriver in tow, looking immensely concentrated as he fiddles around with an old record player. "Never you mind," Joanna assures, "And what are you doing? That's one of Matthew's old pretentious thingamabobs." "It's broke, I'm fixin' it," Tyson shrugs, but Joanna advises him to put it down or else he'll get dust all over his nice clothes. "It helps me not be nervous," Tyson admits glumly, "I don't want Joe to go to jail." "Joe won't go to jail, sweetie," Joanna promises, "He's innocent." Joe shoots her a look at this, and she shrugs. "I was innocent," says Tyson, "But the court said I killed Jose. Which was dumb. The court is dumb." "Yeah, they are..." Joe sighs, looking worried himself now, and Tyson registers this when he turns around to look at his brother for reassurance that doesn't come. He drops the screwdriver and sighs. "So who's giving this testimony anyway?" Joe wonders, and Joanna replies, "One of our many dear neighbors."

Ali sits next to Liz, in the Del Barrio mansion, who is sat next to her personal assistant, Marius Browning. Liz sits takes a sip of her specially made negative calorie water, a look of hostility in her eyes as she's across from her Mary, who's accompanied by her own assistant, Jackson Deering. Mary looks equally as hostile, things having not been the same between Liz and the writer/producer/director ever since the latter learning of her boyfriend's past liaisons with the actress. The two women being in no mood to speak to one another, preferring to keep their interactions to the absolute minimum, Liz turns to Marius and whispers something in his ear. With that, Marius faces Mary, exclaiming, "Ms. Davis would like to wrap this up now as she and Ms. Del Barrio need to get ready to for Joseph DeWar's trial this afternoon." Rolling her eyes, Mary proceeds to whisper something into Jackson's ear, resulting in him turning to address Liz: "Miss Solano only has a couple more topics to address, one being that there's going to be a test screening in a couple days to see how audiences respond to the film. Secondly, in regards to the premiere party, she wishes to hold it here." "Here?" Ali speaks up, unsure how she feels about that, and Mary turns to Ali nodding (she doesn't hate Ali because that's a crime, really.) "Yeah," she says to the blonde, only for Liz to object, "Hey," she beams, "don't talk to my girlfriend like that!" "Jackson, tell Liz I will do whatever I damn well please," Mary says in turn, and Liz goes to stand, but Ali grabs her hand, securing her in her seat. "Is there any other place you could possibly throw the premiere party?" Ali asks, and Mary answers, "Yeah, but I want it here. This place is huge, much more lavish than my place or any place I could possibly rent out." Ali still appears unsure though, but Mary pleads, "You won't have to worry about a thing. The studio will cover all the catering, valet, clean up, and anything else needed." Ali goes to respond, but Liz intervenes: "Fine," she exclaims, grinning, "but it's my party. I'm the host." "The hell you are!" Mary argues, but Liz shakes her head, "My house, my party." "Um, technically it's my house. No? Okay," Ali says, going ignored, and Marius takes the time to speak up: "Why don't you both host the party?" he suggests, to which Mary scoffs, "Who even are you?!" "I'm just here for the weekly paycheck, ma'am," he answers, and Mary rolls her eyes, again. "My party, or no deal," Liz makes her final offer, and Mary, seeing that she has no other choice, is forced to comply to her new rival's terms. With that, she leaves, and Liz sports a victorious grin.
"I hate Elizabeth Davis. Every time I see those big hoe eyes of hers, I swear I just want to go out and shoot a deer," Mary exclaims, entering the Montgomery place, where she finds Rena on the sofa still in his pajamas, computer in his lap while Silvia's bringing him a fresh glass of iced tea. "Oh, a little more tea and a little less ice?" the butler asks of his boss upon seeing the fresh glass, and so she begrudgingly refrains from throwing the beverage in his face, understanding that now is still a time of mourning. "Right..." Mary exclaims, it dawning on her that her boyfriend is still grieving over the loss of his sister, and so she turns sympathetic, "How are you doing, hun?" she asks, taking a seat next to him, but not before grabbing a blanket to put over the fresh tea stain... or pee stain? Yeah. Rena sighs, admitting that it's not gotten any easier. "My little sister..." he utters, "gone, just like that... and it's all my fault." "It's not your fault!" Mary beams, "It's... Juanita Kwon's," she says, still finding it hard to wrap her head around it, "and you need to understand that." "But if I hadn't began this whole pursuit then--" "Then more lives would've been lost," Mary exclaims, "Including your friend, Joanna." "Joanna..." Rena utters, seemingly coming to a realization, but this goes unnoticed by Mary, who wonders what else he's been up to besides moping around these past couple weeks. "Well, my screenplay is about done," he reveals, "I was able to put my pain into writing, and solving the Devious Butler case was a real refresher, so everything came out pretty naturally. I took Josh's advice and killed off Ben, replacing him with Justine as the fourth lead. I think that really helped." Mary's proud of Rena, glad that he's at least making use of his time. "If he'd take the time to dust every now and then, that'd be great too," Silvia calls from the kitchen. Both ignore Mrs. Montgomery, and Mary goes on, "If you want, I can read over the script at some point. Not this week because I'm overseeing the final touches for the movie and prepping for the premiere party, but sometime after?" Rena smiles, grateful for the offer. "Thank you," he says to her, "for being here these past few weeks. Honestly, I don't know if I could get through this without you." Mary smiles in turn, touched, but she then looks up at the time. "Well, you need to start getting ready," she says, "Joe and Joanna are expecting you at the courthouse at noon." Rena sees the time, and realizes that his girlfriend's right, so he stands up to give her a kiss before heading upstairs. However, again Joanna's name has stuck with him; he can't quite shake it off. Once up the stairs though, Silvia returns with a glass of iced tea. "I would've been back sooner, but you're driving me to start smoking again," Mrs. Montgomery says, seeing the butler is already gone, but Mary doesn't hesitate in taking the glass from her boyfriend's boss, downing the tea. "Another cup for the road?" Mary asks, having failed to savor the first glass, and Silvia starts mumbling profanity under her breath, making her way back to the kitchen.

Move on to the Wikerly Hills Hospital where we now see Val lying down with Ben stood next to her, and Dr. Strange running a transducer over her gel-covered stomach. Displayed on a screen is a sonogram of Ben and Val's unborn child, pretty much having reached full development. "She's beautiful..." Ben utters, resulting in a scoff from Val, "She's still a fetus." "And a damn beautiful one," he argues, resulting in an eyeroll from his babymama. Strange does his best to ignore the tension he's sensing between the two expecting parents and tells them: "Only a couple more weeks. I assume you're both excited?" and Ben doesn't hesitate to nod, a smile spreading across his face. "I can't wait to hold her," he says, going into detail about how he'll finally get to look into her eyes and hold onto her tiny little hands. "Huh," Val exclaims, to which Ben furrows a brow. "What?" he asks, and Val goes on to say, "Well you seem pretty confident that you'll be allowed within even twenty feet of that delivery room." "Excuse me?!" "Have you ever thought to consider that perhaps I don't need you in there?" "Valentina!" Ben shouts, "You can't do that! She can't do that, right?!" that latter part being directed at Strange, who merely shrugs, not having a damn clue. "Ben, please don't raise your voice. Surely can't be good for Justine." "Justine?!" "Right, that's what I've decided to name our daughter. In honor of my dear sister, of course." "You've gotta be kidding me..." Ben utters, but Val shakes her head, "I understand it might be awkward for you, our daughter being named after the woman you brutally murdered in cold blood, but I think that's the least you could do." It's then that Strange feels the need to let the two have some privacy, agreeing to see himself out, not that either Val or Ben cares, the latter of which being more concerned with fighting against his babymama's desires. "We're not naming her 'Justine'," he exclaims, "In fact, I was actually thinking we could name her--" "Don't care," Val puts up her hand, motioning Ben to stop talking, "In case you've forgotten, I pretty much owned your ass in court. Lemme get Gregory Keating on the phone and I knock you down even further." "Oh, you better prepare yourself then because the moment this child is born I'm coming for you," but Val can't help but chuckle at this. "Right, good luck with that," she says, doing her best to not burst out into full-on laughter, but Ben then looks up at the clock and realizes the time. "Chuckle all you want, but you'll see. Now if we could get Strange back in here to clean you off, we need to get you home so I can leave for Joe's trial." "Ah, right," Val recalls, "gotta be there for your fellow murderer. You should start a club! Or is that what your little butler circle is? Ooh, who have Rena and the other one killed?" Ben goes to defend his friends, but Val puts her hand up. "Yeah, don't speak," she says, "Really, you're quite grating. Hell, one can only hope that when they put Joe away for life that your ass somehow ends up with him. Seems fair enough to me." Ben doesn't give a response to this though, simply glaring at the mother of his unborn child, doing his best not to go into a fit of rage.

Across town, not on Fanon Drive but a neighborhood nearby, Josh is sat at the dining room table of his mother's home with Regina Gibbons herself, currently going over what appears to be mass amounts of paperwork. "Just a couple more signatures and most of the boring document-y legal stuff will be done," Ms. Gibbons confirms to her son, who's anxious to just get his business started already. "Of course a lawyer will go over it all," she adds, though is quick to see the change in Josh's facial expression as she realizes that lawyer will not be the dear husband he often sought legal help from in the past. "Everything will be fine," she says, taking her son's hand, "I'll handle all of it." He nods, trying to force the hint of a smile. "So what's next?" Josh asks, wanting to move things forward, to which Regina replies, "Next we set you up with an office, do some advertising, really get your name out there." "Juan and Jennifer have both agreed to sign on," Josh reveals, "though both are new to the custodian industry, so I doubt they really know anyone..." "What about your butler friends?" Regina wonders, and Josh ponders this. "Well Ben is probably gonna work for Ali until the day he dies... I suppose Mrs. Montgomery will eventually come to her senses and fire Rena, though I'm not sure it'd look good for me to sign him on... and then Joe, well, since marrying Joanna he's not really working anymore, not mention his pending trial..." Regina doesn't exactly like the sound of this, which is quite evident to Josh based on the look on her face. "Is this bad...?" he asks, and his mother answers, "I'll... run some numbers... put in some research. Don't you worry about a thing, dear." "I mean surely this will work, right? The Devious Butler's been caught, so there's no longer that stigma... Joanna's who trended butlers in the first place, so maybe I could get her to make everyone hire more butlers and maids and gardeners..." "That would be helpful," Regina nods, "but right now maybe you should just sit back and worry about other things. We're still early in the establishing of this whole thing. While I finish up on all the legality stuff, why don't you focus on your friend's trial." "Right, that's this afternoon," Josh remembers, then wondering, "This won't affect the business, will it?!" "Hm?" "Joe's murder trial... my association with him... I don't know..." "Again, dear, don't worry about a thing... Well, worry about him getting out of this. But your business, leave that up to me. Mummy's gonna handle everything." "If you say so..." Josh utters, still unsure, "It's just, I finally found my calling... what I wanna do with my life... I just don't want this case to crap over everything..."

Which brings us to the courthouse, where Joe is currently waiting in the hallways with Joanna and Tyson, breathing deeply as his nerves start to take over. "It's gonna be fine," Joanna keeps assuring him. "It's gonna be fine," Tyson repeats, very worried, but then he starts repeating it over and over again at hyper-speed, almost hyperventilating because of it, and so Joanna takes him to one side in order to calm him down - for the brothers' sullen presences around one another is detrimental to both their spirits. Joe goes back to breathing deeply and then, "Hey, sex-on-a-stick," greets Aliza Little. "Oh, hey Aliza," Joe greets glumly, and Aliza asks, "What the sour mood for? Is it 'cause you're on trial fo' snappin' my mama's neck?" "Well... yeah..." "Ah, thought it might be that," Aliza nods, "My second guess was gon' be your shirt." "What's wrong with my shirt?" he asks nervously, checking his appearance, and Aliza shrugs, "It's on. So watchu up to?" "Um... waiting to go into the courtroom..." "Right, right, the trial," Aliza nods, "That's why I'm here too. So, you kill my mama?" "Uh..." Aliza then bursts out laughing though, saying, "Naw, but srsly, goin' all full-on with this thing is so dumb. I meant what I said up there on duh stand. You's an asset to this community. Didn' even giggle at asset or nuffin'." "I... um, I appreciate that, Aliza." "I saw you in our house tryna solve all dem mysteries and whatnot. Inspirin', reli. Back in the city there was so much unsolved crime. O' course, Manny and mama contributed some to that." "Right, yeah," Joe nods, "Um, what city was that again?" Aliza shrugs again though, saying, "New York? New Orleans? New Sumfin'. Anyways, good luck, ho." She gives him a smack on the ass and proceeds to ask anyone who'll listen where the nearest vending machine is, while Joanna approaches Joe and asks, "Did she just slap your butt?" "Yeah," Joe nods, and Joanna scowls in the direction that Aliza just disappeared off in, commenting, "I could sue her." And then the other butlers arrive down the hall, and Joe is relieved to see them all there, brimming with support. They ask how he's doing, and he admits that he's not doing great, which Tyson overhears from behind, and frowns at. "Cutting it close," Joanna comments, then looking to Ben and Rena and saying, "At least you two decided to show up this time." Rena backs away from her, appearing upset, and Ben admits, "We were actually waiting for Josh." "Sorry," the British butler says, "New business and whatnot. Time consuming." "Of course," Joanna nods, patting him on the back, and Ben mutters to Rena that of course he doesn't get scalded. Rena mutters something inaudible in response, looking down at his shoes as opposed to at Joanna, and then a familiar voice asks, "Did I hear that name right?" It's Greg, also emerging from around the corner, and then, "Josh, it is you. I take it that means you're not still pretending to be Brad like the last time you were here? Shame, really, it would've been fun watching you try to build a case for your guilty friend, though you'd probably do a better job than..." he gestures Joanna, who's hand is clutching Josh's shaking arm so as to prevent him from swinging it right into Greg's smug face. "I'll see you in there, I guess," he shrugs, hiking up his briefcase; the movement makes the little crucifix necklace spill out from under his collar, and Josh sighs, "You would be one of those weirdo gays who worships God." "I worship my country," Greg assures, "I don't recall Brad minding. He was a Republican too. Perhaps I'll light a candle for him. Thank him for not being here to actually take the case - if he were, I might not be fighting against it." He then walks away, towards the courtroom, and Joanna seethes, "He is exactly the type of human being that made me wanna blow up churches in the first place. I so wanna beat his ass." Joe then approaches his wife and warns her, "May wanna pipe down that kinda talk in a courthouse." "Oh, right," Joanna nods, and then Silvia arrives on the scene. "Sorry I'm late," she says, "I wanted to bring a pitcher of iced tea to calm everybody's nerves, but the damn security wand-wavers took it from me on my way in. Greedy bastards." "What?!" Aliza rages, reemerging with an armful of vending machine candy and dropping it all in shock, and hen, "Damn, even if they find Joe guilty, daz still gon' be the worst news I heard all day." Tyson gulps at this, and Joe asks his wife if they shouldn't be going in after Greg. "One sec, we're still waiting," Joanna tells him, and then comes Ali along with Liz, asking if they're late, and Joanna promises her that she's right on time. "Shall we?" They proceed on into the courtroom. "We shall indeed," Kathryn Kappelletti hisses as she too arrives and follows. "Yeah we shall," exclaims Val from the face-time on Kathryn's phone.
We next see Joanna in the middle of her defense. She is standing before the jury - before the court - while Joe sits behind her, and the butlers and other assembled audience behind him. Greg is on the other side of the room, while Joanna is in the middle of claiming to Judge Quinnson and everybody else, "...a fingerprint which didn't show up in the initial examination of the body. Personally, I find it highly questionable that the so-called 'police' of this town were negligent enough..." Greg rolls his eyes at this. Quinnson looks kinda bored. Kathryn looks at her watch. Joe appears pensive. The other butlers nervous behind him, none moreso than Tyson. The jury look invested enough in what she has to say. "And don't even get me started on how insubstantial that fingerprint even is! The possibilities are vast and..."
We pick up a bit later, with Joanna having said her whole piece regarding the evidence at hand, "... and the fact remains that Joseph DeWar, despite the blotches in his reputation, is an upstanding member of this community; yes, one may look at his track-records and see that some mistakes have been made..." Greg smirks at this, but doesn't interrupt yet, "... but look closer, and you'll see each and every one of those mistakes outshone by his attempts to better himself. A never-ceasing beacon of decency - something this town, I'm sad to say, sorely lacks." "Your honor, haven't we been through this in the preliminary?" Greg asks, finally standing up, but Joanna insists that it's still relevant. "It does sound a little repetitive, Mrs. DeWar," Quinnson nods; however, Joanna begs that she be allowed to put one last person on the stand to vouch for Joe's upstanding character. "The time for that is done!" Greg insists, "Your honor, if this is all she has on which to base her case--" "As opposed to the molehill of evidence you have?" Joanna growls, and Quinnson bangs her gavel some to silence them both. At Joanna's latest comment, Kathryn smiles a little, and Valentina gives a little evil laugh from within the confines of Kathryn's bra, where she - on the phone - has been stored. "Shhhh bitch, I'm not even allowed a phone in here," Kathryn insists through whisper, trying to act casual as people start to look around at her. "Talking to yourself?" Liz asks, sitting next to Ali, turning around so as to address Kathryn in the row behind her. "As a matter of fact, I was talking to your unsightly ginger mane. I thought a witch-burning was happening right in front of me and couldn't help but--" "Cry in terror?" Liz finishes for her, "I'd be scared of a witch-hunt too if I were you, dear." They give each other their usual dirty looks, and Ali asks her girlfriend to stand so that she can get past, for Joanna's pleading has worked and it's now Ali's time to shine, having just been summoned.
"It's no secret that my husband was a monster," we cut to Ali saying, now up on the stand, "I mean, everybody from here to Wiksteria knows about his old... 'business'. And I... was trapped." "As his accomplice," Greg exclaims, standing up, but Joanna insists, "His victim," and Quinnson reprimands the D.A. for his outburst, allowing Ali to continue. "I feared for my life for the whole time I was in that house, pretending to be Jorgio Del Barrio's doting wife. On several occasions I thought about..." she begins to tear up some, and finds Ben's face in the crowd; he nods at her encouragingly, and she continues, "...taking my own life." Liz looks incredibly dour at this; Kathryn rolls her eyes. Silvia also appears stricken by the news, rather shaken herself to be hearing about the man who locked her up. "But I knew I couldn't do that, because of the girls. I had to stay alive for the girls." Greg then objects, because he isn't sure what they're getting from this, but Quinnson finally isn't bored for once, and so she allows it to proceed. "You get back to recounting that scandal, honey, it's one of my all-time faves," Quinnson nods. "R-right..." Ali starts nervously, "it's relevant, Mr. Keating, because Joseph DeWar was my hero." Joe himself is a little taken aback to hear this, and Joanna's face gleams a little with triumph, her eyes flickering briefly to the jury who already look like they've started simpering some. "As soon as I welcomed him into my home, I sensed that... that things were going to change. To get better. If it wasn't for him, my husband never would have been arrested for his many, many crimes... I never would have found the strength to free those girls..." Silvia nods strongly at this, wiping her eyes, "...to form my charity..." "To seize your husband's riches?" Greg questions, but he goes ignored; "Joseph DeWar helped expose the truth, because that's what he does. Even when he wasn't an officer anymore, he went out of his way to solve crimes. To help people. To save me from the wretched little life I led. He's the kind of man you can count on. The kind of man you can place your trust in. The kind of man that you know will come through for you... and the kind of man who could never kill in cold blood." Joe is welling up some, and Joanna's sense of triumph increases as the jury continue to simper, to Greg's deep annoyance. Quinnson appears disappointed that the juicier details weren't touched upon, and Kathryn is too busy dry-heaving at the sickening sweetness of it all to pay attention any longer. "As if my morning sickness wasn't enough to make me wanna hurl..." comes Val's voice from the phone, and Kathryn fakes a coughing fit to cover it. Liz whips round to shush her, for her girlfriend is still in the middle of talking, and Kathryn beams, "Sorry. I think one of the mothballs from your out-of-date couture jumped down my throat." "Ha!" screams Val, and Kathryn coughs again. "...a man of honor," Ali is still going, "a man of innocence..."
"God, what a pile of crap," Greg is saying during recess in the men's room, then lifting the cross from around his neck and saying, "Gimme strength," as he looks at himself in the mirror. "I'll give you something better than that," says Kathryn, and he sees through the mirror her entering behind him. He then turns around confused, telling her that she really shouldn't be in there, but she assures, "Please, I'm rich, the rules don't apply to me." A man then enters to use the bathroom, sees the glamorous socialite standing in his path, and walks out awkwardly. Kathryn squeaks out a smug smile, approaching Greg. "Are you walking towards him?" Val asks from the phone, "Is he still hot? Is he still gay?" "Yes, I'm still--" Greg starts, and then, "Who is that?" "The woman who's gonna seal this case for you," Kathryn promises, then lifting up her purse seizing her hand around in it. After pulling out an incomplete adoption form for an African child, a can of spray-paint and what looks like the demonic horn of a goat, she finds one of the bugs she earlier retrieved from the Del Barrio mansion. Greg appears only more confused, yet intrigued, and Kathryn tells him, "You're gonna wanna call a new witness to the stand."

Act II

Still on recess, Ali is seen standing in line behind Aliza at the vending machine, the latter of which puts in a dollar for a bag of hot Cheetos, only for the machine to eat her money and the dispenser becoming jammed. "Bitch, wot?!" she growls, kicking the machine repeatedly, leaving massive dents behind and cracks in the glass. As she curses away, Ali decides to walk away deeming maybe she should just skip lunch. It's then that bumps into Joe, who's only now making his way out of the courtroom. "Oh, hey," he greets, with Ms. Del Barrio giving a "hey" in response. "Thank you..." he says, "for what you said about me back there. I'll admit it was very unexpected, but very touching, nonetheless." "Well, I meant every word," Ali assures, "Even though we haven't exactly kept in touch all that much... you're still my hero, and you always will be." Joe can't help but blush at this, and Ali opens up her arms, motioning for a hug. The two embrace, sharing in this brief moment together, but break apart as Aliza's roars at the vending machine grow louder. "Son of a cracka'!" she howls, the sound of glass shattering as it appears she's finally smashed the vending machine open. "I'm... gonna go take care of her," Joe chuckles in regards to Aliza, and Ali nods as the two part ways. "Am I bleedin'?! Mah skin's too black to tell," Aliza is heard saying as Ali now makes her way over to Ben who's eating a peanut butter and haggis sandwich that he's packed for lunch. Seeing his boss approaching, he opens up his Trainspotting lunchbox, having packed her a sandwich as well. "I'll pass," Ali exclaims, sitting next to Ben and being able to see the haggis in the sandwich he's packed her. The butler shrugs, putting it back in the lunchbox, then turning to Ali. "Thanks for sticking up for Joe like that," he says, but Ali assures that it was nothing, "After everything he's done for me... and besides, I know Joe could never be a killer," though she then lowers to a more hushed tone, "Yunno, except for that one time with Justine... but obviously that's different." Ben starts to look awkward though, and so he suggests, "Let's go outside for a sec, okay?" Ali appears confused, but nonetheless follows her butler anyway as they go to stand outside of the courthouse, temporarily.
"Is something wrong?" Ali says next, now on the front steps with Ben, who's pacing back and forth, pondering whether or not he should do what he wishes to do. "Ben, is there something you wanna tell me?" she then questions, starting to grow nervous. "Um, well..." Ben utters, "you said what happened with Justine was different, but... maybe it's not as different as you think." "Wh- what...?" Ali utters, starting to realize where Ben is going with this, but not wanting to believe it to be true. "Joe, he... he did kill Rochelle... In your basement, actually..." "Oh, my God..." Ali is forced to take a seat on the steps, and Ben crouches down next to her, taking her hand, "But again, it was self-defense! She kidnapped him from his wedding... the first one. She brought him to your basement and was gonna kill him, so he fought back and... yeah." "So this... this is that secret you were keeping from me," Ali realizes, "the one that made you quit..." "The one you said would come out eventually, yeah..." Ben confirms, adding, "Rena, Josh, and I... we managed to track Joe down and we found him standing over the body... so we helped him bury her." "Wow, um... this is a lot to take in," Ali exclaims, which Ben more than understands, "Okay," she then says. "Okay?" Ben questions, and Ali nods, "I'm... glad you told me the truth." "So you're not... upset?" and Ali shakes her head. "I'm... surprised," she admits, "but no, I'm not upset. Joe's a good person. I know that, you know that... now let's just hope the jury does." Ben gives a light smile at his employer/best friend, both happy about how she took to this news and relieved that he's finally gotten such a huge secret off his chest. However, the two are then passed by Kathryn Kappelletti, who's come outside to give her fans on Snapchat a story update. Before recording herself though, she turns to Ben and Ali and scoffs, "You just wait," she says, "you've got a whole nother thing coming."

Inside, Joanna can be seen sneaking some lunch - in other words, the hip flask she had hidden in her purse - and Rena notices this, looking to be preparing himself before he decides to approach. "Ah, well if it isn't my favorite Mexican," Joanna comments, now resolutely cheerier thanks to the presence of (more) wine in her system, and he meekly greets, "Hi... I've been meaning to talk to you... ever since the whole... Juanita thing..." "Oh," Joanna stops, sealing the flask and shoving it back in her purse, "I was, uh... sorry to hear about the whole thing. Why would you wanna talk to me about it, though?" "It's just that... you're the reason it happened," Rena admits, and Joanna's eyes widen in shock and anger, "Excuse me?" "I just mean..." Rena continues, "You were Juanita's main target, because you're the one who fired Justine, and made it so that having butlers was a huge thing." "I can't help it if I'm a trend-setter," Joanna responds defensively, to which Rena replies, "And I can't help thinking that Theresa would still be... be... If only you..." He can't quite finish, and so just sigh and says, "I felt you should know." This doesn't alleviate Joanna's sense of anger though, and she asks, "Are you trying to blame me for something?" Rena shrugs though, not really knowing what he's trying to say, and so the rich woman continues, "Let's get this straight, which I know may be an extraordinary concept for you, but... what happened to those people was not my fault. From what I hear - and from what you've said - Juanita was... deranged. And petty. And evil. I'm very sorry your sister died - really, I am; no one deserves to go like that, and I'm happy to talk to you if you need comfort or consolation or whatever - but if you're just looking for someone to blame, then do piss off, because in case you haven't noticed I've got kind of a lot on my plate right now." "I'm... I'm sorry," Rena tells her, and she can see the tears in his eyes, and her anger fades. She places a hand on his shoulder, and she tells him, "I know you are. Grief makes us agitated." "I just..." Rena tries to defend himself, "keep thinking of all the things that led to... it happening... and what could have been different, you know? If just a few circumstances were tweaked, she wouldn't be--" "If you think like that, you're gonna drive yourself crazy," Joanna promises, "And I take this to mean that I'm not the only one you're shifting blame onto..." "I shouldn't have tried being Joe," Rena admits, but Joanna assures him that he did a good thing; prevented countless more deaths. "And as for the past... there's nothing you can do about that now." Rena nods, trying to accept this, and excuses himself from his former boss' presence. Once he's gone, we see Joanna to be the one crying a little now, as she thinks back.
It's the brightness of the church on fire that forces tears into Emilie's eyes on a night in the past, as she stands beside Nadia and a few other members of their organization, having just made one of the many explosions of their terrorist career happen. "Troy outdid himself this time," Nadia smiles, but Emilie can barely hear her, because she's too busy listening to sounds she thinks she hears from the crumbling site of religion. "Are those... screams?" she asks, sounding worried, but Nadia doesn't answer - she doesn't need to, because at that second two people come running from the wreckage, both on fire and screaming for their lives. "Oh, my--" Emilie starts, putting her hands to her mouth, and Nadia asks her accomplice, "Got a problem?" "I... I... Wasn't it supposed to be empty like the others?" "Don't worry," Nadia promises, "They deserve it." "What do you mean?" "I didn't tell you this," Nadia admits, "Perhaps I should've, but... I wasn't sure how you'd react. You see, tonight was a very big night for me." "What do you mean?" Emilie wonders, and Nadia responds, "I finally got my revenge." "Your revenge?" "You remember... the Father, I presume." "The one whose…?" Emilie just makes a snipping motion with her fingers in the air, and Nadia smiles and nods and reveals, "The very same. Well, you should also remember that I tried to tell people about what he was doing... and I got shunted. Behold, Emilie: the shunters." She then gestures the screaming, burning people, and Emilie appears stunned as they continue to scream. "Oh, don't be so taken aback, Em," Nadia begs in a casual tone, "It's just, right? You told me about you burning those missionaries - this is the same thing." "Yeah..." Emilie forces herself to nod, "Yeah, I guess. You were... Yeah." "Yeah," Nadia reinforces, then turning back to the flames and relishing them some. Emilie can't bring herself to emulate her partner's smile, but she makes no further complaint, content to just watch. "Besides," Nadia continues, "It wasn't just me, was it? You killed them too." "What?" Emilie asks, confused, turning to her, and Nadia explains, "Well, you may not have known exactly what the end result was gonna be, but you helped plan and enact this explosion just like any other. Heck, I even let you hold the detonator, remember?" Emilie turns back to the church - to the screams - and they seem to hit her a little harder now. "It's your fault," her own voice whispers inside her head. "But it's okay. They're not innocent people," her own voice argues back against herself. "Still..." She tries to convince herself not to care.
Joanna wipes her eyes in the present, and begins to march her way through the courthouse, finally discovering Joe in the middle of comforting Tyson. "It's gonna be fine, bro," Joe is saying, both hands on Tyson's shoulder, "Everything's going great in there, you saw, right?" "Yeah... yeah," Tyson tries to convince himself, and then Joanna shows up and tells him, "Sorry, Tyson, dear, but do you mind if I borrow your brother for a moment?" And then, without waiting for a response, and grabs Joe by the tie and pulls him into the nearest room - which turns out to be a court library. Some weedy guy in glasses is in there organizing the books on the shelves, and Joanna promptly and coolly tells him, "Get out," and her commanding tone scares him into doing so rather immediately, abandoning the rest of his books and scurrying outta the room. "What is it?" Joe wonders, and then he notices that his wife's been crying; "What's wrong?" She places her hands over her eyes and he attempts to move them, to gently place his hands on either side of her face, but she shakes him off, her tears starting up again. "What's wrong?" he repeats, and she tells him, "It's my fault." "What is?" Joe asks, and Joanna tells him, "This. You. All of it." "Okay, you're confusing me," Joe goes on. "I incurred Nadia's wrath," she goes on. "You can't blame yourself for that evil bitch," Joe assures, "You've blamed yourself enough for Brad..." "No, not enough," Joanna shakes her head, "If I'd just resisted her when I met her... she'd never have followed me here... she wouldn't be targeting you... Rochelle never would have happened. She wouldn't be... You wouldn't have..." "You can't dwell on the past like that." "And that's what I just told to Rena so now I'm a hypocrite too," she blubbers, falling into her husband, who takes to hugging her. "If this goes badly... and you... and you go away," she weeps, "It's on me. It's all on me. You shouldn't be here. I should be here. You're not really a killer... not the way I am..." "Shhh..." Joe tries, stroking her hair, and then, "Remember when you were locked in that freezer? And Nadia decided to test your faith in me?" "And you saved me," Joanna nods, now stepping back to look into his eyes, "Because it's like Ali said. You're a hero. You don't deserve--" "Shhh..." he tries again, "Don't you see? You had faith in me, and I came to rescue you, because I love you. And you love me..." "Of course..." "...which is how I know that everything's gonna be fine. Because I have faith in you." "But... but I'm not like you," Joanna weeps, "A hero." "You are," Joe promises. "I'm--" "You are. You're the strongest person I know. All that you've been through... all that you've survived... you're amazing. How could I not have faith in someone like you?" Joanna looks up at him at this, wiping away her tears, and then he leans in and gently kisses her on the lips. "But if this goes bad..." "It won't. I have you." "But if it does," Joanna presses, "We... we really gotta make your freedom count, yunno?" Joe doesn't get what she means, until she sucks him into a far more passionate kiss and wipes all the books off the nearest table, hopping on it. Yeah, they f*ck in the library.

The Sun sets on the courthouse and rises again, as another day of Joe's trial is set to take place. Josh is already sitting inside, waiting with a blank expression on his face, and Greg walks past him with a briefcase in tow. The two of them briefly exchange eye contact; Josh looks away rather immediately, and Greg smiles a little at this, carrying on while taking out his phone to make a call. "You'll be here soon?" he asks Kathryn Kappelletti, who, from the other end of the line, replies, "Yep. I'm just arranging transport for our... guest of honor." Josh fails to pay attention as the lawyer disappears around the corner, and then another set of footprints approach. "Hey," says Ali, looking rather meek, and Josh greets her in turn before she slumps down onto the bench beside him. "Aren't you arriving with Liz?" he wonders, and Ali explains that, after yesterday, Liz has decided she'd rather upstage Kathryn and so will be arriving in her hot pink convertible; Ali, however, wasn't particularly down with such a flashy, attention-drawing entrance, and so she had Jennifer chauffeur her there early. "Ah," Josh nods, "how's that working out? Jennifer as your maid?" "Great," Ali finally smiles, "Thanks, for the suggestion. And hey, how's your business going?" "It's getting off the ground," Josh promises, "My mum's the one with all hands on deck while I'm here attending court." Ali nods, wondering why he's there early, and he explains that he wanted to make up some for being late yesterday - "Plus I wanted to get away from Tyson for a little while. I love being a butler, but, there's only so much mess I can take. Not that I don't love having my old prison buddy around." "You were in prison?" Ali questions. "Oh yeah, Matthew's murder," Josh nods, "I suppose our lives weren't particularly entwined when all that was going on." "I just remember receiving his ashes," Ali nods, "Jorgio was furious when he died; Matthew was the closest thing he had to a best friend. Well, aside from Andrew Von Trump... did you hear about him being Kathryn's father?" "Yeah," Josh responds, "It made sense." "Uh-huh," Ali nods, and Josh goes on to question why she wanted to avoid a flashy entrance with her girlfriend. "My testimony yesterday," Ali responds, "Sort of started up some murmurings. Sparked a little press interest in the old Del Barrio scandal... I just don't need to hear people talking about it." "Yeah..." Josh utters, "I understand that. Thinking you've escaped something only to realize it's still sitting right beneath you. The other week I had this moment, in Joanna's living room, realizing I was sitting right in the same place where..." Ali doesn't know where he's going with this, and so he just ends with, "Where bad things happened. And I love working for Joanna, but sometimes I think I just need to get far away too, you know?" "I do," Ali nods. "But," Josh goes on, "I also love Wikerly Hills. The first place I've ever felt truly... home." "Me too... but not because of the place. Because of the people," Ali tells him, at which point they see Joe, Joanna and Tyson entering the courthouse together, Silvia not far behind. "I meant everything I said yesterday. Joe was my hero. Even if the whole Rochelle thing... well, it doesn't really matter. He allowed me to move on and... feel I belonged. Ben, Liz, Jennifer..." "He's a great guy," Josh nods, waving to the party as they approach, but Silvia seems to be rushing in front of them, stopping before Ali and Josh and saying, "Josh, dear, could I have a word with Ali alone?" "Uh... sure," Josh responds, standing up. "Sorry to be rude," she rectifies, "I believe the last time we had a proper conversation, I was still going by Lindsay." "No trouble," Josh assures, "I'll go catch up with the others." With that, he hurries off with Joanna and co., and Silvia sits down beside Ali, who wonders what it is the woman wants. "Those were some wonderful things you said about my son yesterday," Silvia beams, and Ali gives an awkward smile in response, assuring that she meant it. "I'm glad," Silvia nods in turn, "And... well, ever since you spoke, I've been meaning to have a little chat with you." Ali is both intrigued and confused, and Silvia, finding it hard to go on, eventually says, "About... him." "Joe?" Ali asks, confused, but Silvia, fighting back tears, shakes her head: "Jorgio..." "Oh..." Ali utters, uncomfortable, and Silvia goes on to explain, "I take it that, by now, you know that I... I was the one who pushed you down the stairs last Christmas." "I... I'm aware," Ali responds shakily, edging away from Silvia ever-so-slightly, and Silvia tells her, "You have to understand how sorry I am about that, dear. I... wasn't in my right mind. Years of abuse under... that man... made me obsessed, with erasing every last mark he left upon this world. I... I even tried to kill my own son, who now I love so much. I don't expect you to underst--" "I understand," Ali says suddenly, to Silvia's surprise. "You do?" "Yes," Ali says a little more firmly, "I couldn't stand to have that... that thing growing inside of me. A part of him, leeching off of me. It was like, even in death he couldn't leave me alone. Thank you for that, by the way: killing him..." "I..." "I used to dream up ways to kill him myself," Ali admits, "Just... in the back of my mind, you know? I never could have actually done it - even now, if he were here in front of me, I don't think I could do it, because that's not who I am... but... he started to make it who I am. And I'll always hate him for that." "Well," Silvia replies, "he did make that who I am." "Who you were," Ali assures, "From what I've heard, you've changed." "I'm trying to," Silvia nods, "But it's too late for me to ever really escape the shadows of my past... I've lived in them for too long. And I don't think he ever would have truly corrupted you. You may not know it, but... from what I've heard, you're a hell of a lot stronger than I am." Ali turns away from her, as though unsure if this is true, and Silvia carries on, "The good thing is... you're still young; it's not too late for you." "Not too late for what?" Ali wonders, and Silvia smiles at her, "To escape the shadows of your past." "I... I suppose it's not," Ali manages a nod, "Some horrible things have happened in my house... more than I was even aware of until recently." "Well," Silvia advises, "since moving to the swanky version of the suburbs, I've become quite the little housewife - also because my butler's entirely useless. But, it sounds to me you ought to do a little spring cleaning." Silvia then pats Ali on the back with her hand, saying, "Just something to think about," before finally getting up to go and join her son. The other butlers soon enter, as does Liz, who becomes the third person to come and sit beside her girlfriend. "Hey, you okay?" she wonders. "Yes," Ali promises, "I'm just... thinking." Liz takes her by the hand, and begins complaining about how Kathryn wasn't even there to see her amazing entrance - "I wonder what it is she's up to. If I know her - and I'm sad to say that I do - she's up to no good..." Distracted, Ali just says, "We'll see how the rest of the trial goes, I guess."

We return to the courtroom, a little while later, while Joanna resumes her seat next to her client/husband, having just been up in front of everyone saying summit lawyer-y. Greg takes to standing up after this, addressing Judge Quinnson and telling her that the prosecution would like to submit "this" - he holds up Val's bug in a little plastic baggie - into evidence. Joanna objects to this, not having seen this object in evidence before, and, as Quinnson inspects it, Greg reveals that he was only just made aware of it very recently. Joanna tries to argue how awfully convenient this is, but goes overruled, for Judge Quinnson is intrigued as to what's on this thing. "Rather damning evidence, if I do say so myself, your honor," Greg responds with a sycophantic smile, and, from behind, all the way in the back row, Kathryn smiles as well. The other butlers, meanwhile, look to one another confused, as do Ali, Liz and Silvia and whoever may have been mentioned as attending this trial. Aliza, for instance ("Whuzgoinon?!" she exclaims suddenly after having woken herself up with one of her own particularly loud snores). Joanna demands to know where this apparently "damning evidence" came from, and Greg tells her, "I'm glad you asked," before also announcing to the judge that he'd like to call someone new to the stand. "Objection!" Joanna tries, again trying to argue that she wasn't made aware to any changes in the list of witnesses or whatever, and Greg, that same sickly smile on his face, reinforces that his "team" only became aware of this, "As I said, very recently." Joanna scowls at him, while Quinnson allows all this, and then Greg finally says it - "The prosecution would like to call Valentina Cortez to the stand." There are a few murmurs from the crowd; Joe appears taken aback; Ben in particular looks stupefied, eyes wide and peering to the door - which Kathryn, in her back-row seat, takes to swinging open dramatically, marking a rather grand entrance. There she is. The heavily pregnant Valentina Cortez, still ill-advised to walk and thusly entering into the courtroom on one of Rochelle Little's old motorized wheelchairs. She spins a dial, pulls a lever, shifts a gear and goddamn near stalls the exhaust pipe as she whirs on down the aisle between the spectators, the jury taking quite the interest in her. Ben narrows his eyes in her direction; Kathryn smiles Greg's sickly smile, the two of them making eye contact now. "I knew that bitch was up to something shady," Liz growls; Ali's still rather deep in thought now, barely noticing what's happening around her. "Did you know she was coming?" Rena asks Ben, who's unable to take his bulging eyes off his babymama, shaking his head gravely. "Dear Lord," Josh says from behind as Val exclaims, "Make way! Make way! Pregnant woman coming through! Are you blind, I'm pregnant! Step aside!" A joystick is yanked and the speed of the chair increases, eventually bumping right into the stand she's supposed to be taking. "Ah, the stand, how ironic," she begins to weep, and then, "Won't someone please help me? I only wish my little girl's father cared enough to peel me out of this chair..." Ben's palm collides with his face, while several of the jurors appear deeply sorry for poor pregnant Val, exhausting herself just to give evidence in this case and uphold "justice". "Someone help this woman up, dammit!" Judge Quinnson exclaims, banging her gavel some, as Valentina tries hopelessly to stand up. "Oh, my baby!" she yells in a high-pitched voice, hunching over and clutching her pregnant stomach, and Ben's eyes roll so hard they damn near pop out of his skull. Eventually Greg steps forward to take Valentina's hand, supporting her as he helps lift her huge form up into the stand. "Be careful where you're putting your hands," she mutters down to him, and then his hand slips accidentally and she amends, "Or don't," with a small smile now spreading across her fake forlorn face. She forces herself to suppress it as Greg moves away, the jurors now looking at him as some sort of gentle, helpful soul, and finally Val is sitting up there, the microphone in front of her - the stage hers. "Whatever this is about to be, it ain't gon' be good," Joanna mutters to Joe through the side of her mouth, then discreetly lifting her flask up from under the table and taking a quick, much-needed preparatory swig. Kathryn is just by the door, arms-folded, loving every moment. She cranes her neck to try and see Joe's face, to check whether or not he's looking worried, and he is, much to her pleasure. "I'd like to start off by saying," Val begins, her usual domineering tone having been replaced by one far meeker, and yet just as affirming, "that Joseph DeWar... is not the hero that Mrs. Del Barrio described. Joseph DeWar is an alcoholic. A lowlife. A murderer." Joanna tries to interrupt, pointing out that Valentina is hardly adding anything, at which Val fakes a few tears and promises, "I... I'm getting there... P-please don't yell at me..." She clutches her gigantic stomach, "St-stress is s-so b-bad for the b-baby..." There's a collective "awww" from the jury, and Quinnson gives Joanna a dirty look; Greg is thrilled; Ben is outraged, balling his fists uselessly in his lap. "Bull-honkey!" Aliza yells suddenly, but she goes rather ignored, and so promptly drifts off back into her bored slumber. "Not only are these things true," Val goes on, her tears having mysteriously evaporated, "But Joseph DeWar to this day associates with other lowlifes - with other criminals. He cavorts with the very type of citizen he once sought to lock away. Now, they are his brethren. Now, they are his friends." There is a confused murmur; Joe narrows his eyes in nervous anticipation of where she's going; Joanna rises in her seat, curious as to what it is that Val apparently knows. "His best friend, for instance... is the murderer, Benjamin Gold" - gasps - "who threw my dear sister Justine off a balcony fifteen months ago and evaded capture!" "Objection!" Joanna roars at this, "Justine Dussault's death was official--" "DeWar, please," Quinnson barks, "it's just gettin' good! You go on, sweetheart," she simpers to Val, who can barely contain her smugness in her attempt at a gentle smile. Kathryn's smile is full-on smug though; Ben is shaking so violently he might as well explode. "Of, course, Joseph DeWar was the one who fed the fake story to the noble officers of this town... jealous of their many successes with him out of the way, desperate to protect his little band of butlers, he pretended that it was a mere accident... but I know different." "What has this got to do with Rochelle?!" Joanna seethes, and Val loudly cries, "I'm getting there!" then turning to Quinnson and asking, "Why is she so mean?" Quinnson shrugs at this, appearing genuinely sympathetic, and now several of the jurors are giving Joanna dirty looks as well. "For crap's sake," she mutters as she sits back down, trying to swig more from her flask without being seen. Luckily, all the attention is soon back on Val, who's saying, "I'm sure they all had it figured out beforehand. Butlers in this town are like that, you see. They scurry together and plan their misdeeds - getting hardworking maids like me... like my sister... like poor Rochelle Little... fired. Outcasts. Probably in league with the Devious Butler who, very recently, robbed me of one of my little girls!" More horrified gasps as Val goes back to rubbing her stomach. Ben stands up at this, and it takes the combined force of Rena and Josh to drag him back down to his seat. Ali pats him on the shoulder from behind, finally paying attention, while Kathryn is whispering, "'Atta girl... keep at it..." "They're cocky, you see?" Val goes on, "Think they can get away with anything... but they can't. I always knew they were up to something and so... well, Mr. Keating, why don't you do the honors?" She pretends to be too emotional to go on, and Greg approaches her in order to hold her hand before the court, saying he'd be happy to. "Sorry, sorry," Val weeps to everybody, "Thank you, Mr. Keating, thank you." He nods. Seems he's been preparing a little something all the while Val's been talking, for now he's holding a remote, ready for the go. He addresses those in the courtroom, explaining that what they're about to hear - which comes from the expected date of Rochelle Little's murder, according to the coroner's report, also the date of Joseph and Joanna DeWar's aborted wedding (see "...Baby One More Crime") ("And, might I add, leaving a woman at the altar pokes yet another hole into Mrs. Del Barrio's 'hero' theorem") - may shock them. He hits the remote, and then the recording is played for the entirety of the room. "Joe, do you have both her legs?" Ben's voice is heard saying. "Yes, now grab her arms and help me lift her up," Joe says in turn, and the noises of their exertion as they lift something obviously heavy is heard. More gasps. Joe and Ben are both horrified, as are all those there to support the former. Joanna appears rather frightened now, turning to Joe in fear. "Straight from the bowels of the Del Barrio mansion!" Greg exclaims, "Seems Mrs. Del Barrio has been concealing more than a 'hero' in the depths of her shady home." Ali's mouth hangs open; Liz grasps her hand tightly, not wanting her to fall for the evil fairy's jibes. "Whose voices were they?" Judge Quinnson demands, and Valentina, recovering miraculously from her fits of weeping, states clearly for the court, "The first voice was Benjamin Gold, and the second was Joseph DeWar - no mistaking. Clearly carrying Rochelle Little's body to a burial spot, after whichever one of them snapped her neck. Butlers," she spits, and the apparently dumbass jurors nod in angered agreement. "And your honor," Greg goes on, "If you'll allow it, I have someone else here who'd like to... bolster, Miss Cortez's claims." Kathryn stands up straight, for apparently this is her time to shine; however, when Greg calls her to the stand and begins to help Valentina back into her chair (with her directing his hand to her rhino-size ass), and Kathryn begins to approach with all the purpose she can muster, Liz grabs a handful of potato chips from the snoring Aliza's pile of vended foods, stuffs them in her mouth, swallows as fast as she can, stands up suddenly and exclaims, "I'm feeling a little--" and then pukes in directly Kathryn's path, to the shock of all. Kathryn halts abruptly. Ali appears jarred by the rapidness with which Liz withdrew her hand from hers; Liz then wipes her mouth and turns to her and says, "Chronic bulimia saves the day again." "Yeah, yeah, whatever, it can wait," Kathryn states begrudgingly, stepping back, and Joanna stands up and says, "In any case, I would like to cross-examine Miss Cortez." "Haven't you put me through enough?!" Valentina exclaims, now back in the chair, and Quinnson nods in agreement. "But your honor, I just wanted to ask..." Joanna tries, absolutely unable to think of anything, and so she just resigns to jerking violently and collapsing onto the floor. "Joanna!" Joe exclaims, rushing to his wife's aid all the while Quinnson calls for a recess. Joe crouches down to lift her up and tries shaking her awake, asking what's wrong, and she opens one eye and murmurs from her mouth-corner, "I'm buying time." Valentina laughs - cackles, really, and rolls on out of the courtroom, making sure to run over Joe's foot before skidding on through the vomit-paved path. "Well done, sweetie," Kathryn low-fives her, then standing on the back of the chair and riding it on out with her, "That bastard's definitely going away for good." Tyson hears this, for he is there too, and looks deeply, deeply afraid. "Let's find somewhere to talk," Josh suggests to the other butlers. Judge Quinnson then murmurs something under her breath at the sight of all the chaos currently in her courtroom and we see the typist in the corner of the room and pick it up, typing out, "Christ, what a f*cking sh*tshow."

"You can say that again," says Ben as he convenes in the court library with Joe, Joanna, Josh and Rena, the five of them continuing to converse privately about what just went down. Outside the door, Tyson is standing, having been told to wait, looking far from high-spirited. Val soon emerges on her chair from around the corner, still cackling madly and with Kathryn still riding on the back of it. However, the latter's cell phone then starts to ring and she says, "Ooh, you keep goin' girl, I gotta take this." "Sure thing, ha HA!" Val exclaims, speeding off down the corridor as Kathryn hops off, and then Tyson watches her as she's on the phone, walking past. Val's gone now, and it's just Kathryn going, "Yeah... yep... sounds good..." until she reaches Tyson and tells whoever's on the other line, "Hang on, just a second." She faces Tyson and says, "I didn't know they let animals in the courthouse." Tyson doesn't know how to respond, and so Kathryn smiles, telling him, "Enjoy your owner's freedom while you still can. I can't wait to put him behind bars, and then I suppose it's off to a shelter with you, huh?" Tyson's lip quivers and Kathryn smirks, continuing with her conversation, "Yep... uh-huh... the plan's all ago... no, not the court thing, the real plan... the master-plan... Yeah, it's okay, I can talk here, I've only got a retard to overhear me... Ah, good..." she then disappears around the corner where the engine of Val's wheelchair can still be heard whirring away in the distance, crashing into vending machines in order to rob the junk food from within, while Tyson actually appears legitimately intrigued and disturbed by what he's just heard on the phone. "Joe," he exclaims to himself, "Joe, I need to talk to Joe." Inside the court library behind him, Joanna's in the middle of saying, "I can't fake a collapse again, and I'm not sure I really have anything else up my sleeve, especially after that." "How did she even get that recording?" Josh would like to know, at which Tyson bursts in and exclaims, "Kat-ryn!" "What?" Joe questions, confused, and Tyson again exclaims, "Kat-ryn! Kat-ryn Fapparelly! The evil lady! She was on the phone! Talking about her 'master-plan'..." "Um..." Rena utters, only for Ben to say, "Wait a minute... Kathryn." "What?" Joe questions again, now turning to Ben, and Ben sighs, revealing, "Not too long ago, Jennifer let Kathryn into the house. She must've been scooping up bugs for Val. Dammit!" "I'm shocked we didn't consider Val having bugs," Rena points out, "After all she went through to expose me and Liz." "To be honest, I think we all forgot that even happened," Josh chimes in, and Rena shrugs, while Tyson yells, "Didn't you hear? She has a master-plan!" "We heard," Joe promises, humoring his brother by patting him on the shoulder, but Joanna looks to Tyson and says, "Wait a minute..." "What?" Joe wonders, and she points out, "We never did question Kathryn." "What do you mean?" Ben asks, and Joanna tells him, "Me and Joe went about trying to solve all the Nadia business in this town, after the whole body-swap incident." "Wait, what? Body-swap?" Rena questions. "Oh, right, I thought Joanna was dead for a bit," Joe fills the others in; Josh, of course, already knows this, and so he sets about explaining it to Ben and Rena while Tyson just smacks his forehead some, growing even more confused. Joe and Joanna approach each other, the latter saying, "That bitch keeps getting wrapped up in everything, doesn't she? Married into the family who were bankrolling mine and Nadia's organization... attended Josh's wedding, and we all know what happened there..." Josh takes a small break from expositioning upon hearing this, but soon continues, as does Joanna: "...on her show, she definitely woulda worked with Troy O'Neil… she was Andrew Von Trump's daughter, who just happened to be keeping a freezer in the basement with my twin sister's dead body in it, in the house where James was murdered, and--" "She was best friends with Rochelle," Joe nods, "And is raining all of this down on me, too. Rochelle, who was paid to dispose of me." "What does this mean?" Ben wonders, finally up to speed; Rena's still trying to grasp it some. "It means..." Joe starts, and Joanna finishes, "Maybe she isn't quite as oblivious as she's always seemed..." "Leaving the country on 'death moons'," Joe recalls. "The perfect opportunity for foreign correspondence, if she is what I think she could be..." "And what is it you think she could be?" Rena wonders, finally caught up, and Joanna looks to Joe, and then back to the others, saying, "Me." "You?" Josh asks. "What if... what if Kathryn Kappelletti is involved with Nadia..." Joanna elaborates, "What if she's her new Emilie?" "Master-plan..." Joe utters, now looking to Tyson, who looks up, "We still don't know what it is Nadia's got in store. Something big." "Something worthy of being called 'master'; she always did like to go big, and here we are being distracted by a court case," Joanna nods. "Which is being exacerbated by Kathryn," Rena nods, that recently-discovered detective spark finally reigniting. "But... this is Kathryn we're talking about," Josh points out, "Does she have the capability?" This goes questioned by everyone, who start to doubt themselves. "It's a shame we don't have Jose with us anymore," Ben comments. The others look to him, wondering why that is, and he explains, "Well, he was always so good at finding dirt on people... I wonder if he ever had anything on Kathryn Kappelletti." "Or Nadia," Josh suggests, but Joanna shoots this latter idea down as being unlikely. An eerie whistle is heard from outside, and Joe opens the door, seeing Kathryn emerge from the corner. She stops whistling abruptly upon seeing him, asking, "Did I not get the tune right? It's just, seeing your brother got me all in the mood for 'Old McDonald Had a Farm'." Joe scowls while she smiles wickedly, continuing to whistle this and continuing onwards, back through the hall. Joe closes the door. "But she is evil," Tyson pipes up, and Joe turns to him and nods, "Yes... she is," an air of deep suspicion now in his voice.

Act III

Another day, another court session, and Tyson is standing outside the courthouse waiting for Joe and Joanna to catch up to him, for they had some re-parking to do after Joanna basically crashed her car into the lot. But anyway, there he stands, looking incredibly anxious, and the words run through his head - the ones from the audio played for he and the entire court the previous day. "Joe, do you have both her legs?" "Yes, now grab her arms and help me lift her up."
We flash back to this actual moment, several months ago now, in the chamber just off the Del Barrio dungeon. "Joe, do you have both her legs?" Ben asks has he slots his hands underneath the dead Rochelle's armpits, her snapped neck making it so that her head flops awkwardly towards Ben, who recoils slightly. "Yes, now grab her arms and help me lift her up," Joe exclaims, still in his disheveled wedding tuxedo, lifting the legs and gesturing for Ben to regain his grip of the arms. Josh is there, looking as though he may as well be a million miles away, not even looking at the two butlers or the dead body, but rather to where he thinks Brad ought to be. Rena is busy filing his nails, though soon gets the piece of mind to start pushing Rochelle's wheelchair along so that the transportation of the body will be easier once they get her up the stairs - stairs which Rochelle is currently being carried up.
Tyson continues to stare at the courthouse as Joe and Joanna catch up to him, bickering like they've been married for years. "Hey, bro," Joe says as he approaches, "Ready to go in?" "Yeah," Tyson responds automatically, and then his own memories of that night begin to play over in his mind.
"Where's Joe, Ma?" we hear him asking, followed by a replay of Ben and Rena heading back down the aisle to go and search (see "...Baby One More Crime"). We then cut to Tyson, having escaped his ailing mother's eye and deeply curious about his brother's whereabouts, later skulking the back halls, near the dressing room where he was kidnapped. The butlers have already rushed off to find him. "Joe...?" he calls out, "Joe?!" And then...
We cut back to the present, him still standing there while Joe and Joanna have already headed into the courthouse. And so he breaks into a run, calling out his sister-in-law's name. "What? What is it?" Joanna wonders, turning to him while Joe reconvenes with the others butlers and whatnot. "I remember something, about the night Mrs. Little died," Tyson tells her. "You do?" Joanna questions, surprised, and Tyson nods, "Uh-huh." "Is it good?" she wonders, a little impatient, and Tyson repeats, "Uh-huh." At this, Joanna sighs, asking, "Wanna go on the stand then? 'Cause really I ain't got much else left to prattle on about." Tyson nods affirmatively. Joanna sips from her court-flask. "Good luck," Kathryn giggles sarcastically as she makes her way past, and we hear the sounds of Val's wheels turning in her wake. Tyson looks displeased.
"The defense would like to recall Tyson Jepsen to the stand," Joanna claims in front of the court, and there's a worldwide groan which emanates from both sides of the case. "Tyson?" Joe asks of his wife, and Joanna whispers back, "I got nothin' else - and it can't hurt... I hope." Tyson stands up out of his seat; Ben, Rena, Josh, Silvia all look apprehensive. Liz nervously grabs one of Aliza's potato chips and legitimately eats it, nervous, back to squeezing Ali's hand. Kathryn is in the back row again with Val, singing under her breath, "With a mongol here, and a retard there, ee eye ee eye oh..." Val sniggers some, and Tyson nearly trips as he makes his way up the stand. "If this is another testimony regarding your client's so-called heroism..." Greg pipes up, rolling his eyes, but Joanna assures, "It's not. Mr. Jepsen claims to have remembered something important about the night the coroner's believe Rochelle Little to have passed away." "You mean the night your husband snapped her neck?" he then turns to Quinnson, saying, "Your honor, this sounds to me like a last-ditch effort to--" "It does seem awfully convenient, Mrs. DeWar," Quinnson nods in her direction, but Joanna pleads that they just listen to what Tyson has to say - "Unless you want me to report y'all for ableism? Nope? Okay? Didn't think so. Go on Tyson, dear. Tell the court what it is you've come remember about the supposed night of Rochelle Little's murder." Greg lets out a massive sigh; everyone else is watching with some interest now; Joe looks incredibly nervous, with absolutely no idea where this is gonna go. Val turns to Kathryn and says, "They are soooo just copying our surprise witness move." "I know, right? So unoriginal." Tyson takes his time looking at the worried Joe, and so Joanna repeats, "Tyson, honey, what is it you r--" "Joe's a really great brother," he finally says. "Yeah..." Joanna nods, looking awkwardly between her husband and the man on the stand, "but, um..." "Really great," Tyson continues, ignoring her. "More character crap, just as I predicted..." Greg sighs, again taking out his cross and muttering, "Just smite me already. Please." Quinnson looks like she might go the same way as Aliza and doze off. "No one else could do what he does," Tyson relentlessly drives on, "Saving me from jail... when everyone thought that I was dangerous... because he cares. Because he's the best person ever, and cares more than anyone in the world. But he can still be wrong." Joe raises an eyebrow at this, really not knowing where it's going, and Joanna asks, "What do you mean?" "I am dangerous," Tyson lies, "No one knew it. I didn't know it. Joe wouldn't, because he's good, and he sees good things. He's so good, he helped carry my Mama home from his wedding, when she was all drunk and went into one of her drink-y sleeps. The first wedding, that didn't happen." "What do you--" "I was at the big mansion, with mama. And when Joe and his friend Bean were helping to carry her to a Uber, I met Miss Rochelle; I think she was the maid..." "Your honor..." Greg tries, now paying attention, but Quinnson, finally wide awake, waves her arm to shush him, wanting to listen. "She was mean," Tyson says, looking down in sadness, "She called me a... a animal." It's this which grabs Kathryn; she looks deeply angry. The jury appear sympathetic, yet intrigued. "So I twisted her head a li'l," Tyson lies finally, "And she fell over, and didn't get up. I... killed her." "WHAT?" is yelled collectively around the courtroom: from Quinnson and Greg, Joe and Joanna, the butlers, the other important ones, the extras, the jury, Kathryn and Val... "I got scared," Tyson adds, "And so I dragged her body away... and dug a hole for it. I'm... I'm good at diggin'. Mama made me dig ditches outside the trailer when the toilet got full." He nods as though this really completes his made-up story. "I didn't mean to do it. I'm... sorry." He goes faux-ashamed, and nobody else in the room is able to utter a single word for a long, long moment. "Tyson..." is what breaks the silence, emanating from Joe, who's suddenly on his feet, "You can't--" "You don't have to protect me no more, Joe," Tyson exclaims to him, and Greg again yells, "Your honor, you can't possibly take this as fact..." However, Judge Quinnson raises both her eyebrow and her gavel, clearly mulling the decision over...
"...and Joseph DeWar is hereby cleared off all charges," we next hear her announcing after this whole thing has been hashed out, banging her gavel again; Tyson turns to his brother with a large grin on his face, but Joe looks deeply sad towards him. The other butlers in the background are celebrating, but Joe can't join them. "Thank God," Silvia exclaims, patting her son on the back, while Aliza again wakes up and yells, "Whuzgoinon?!" and then, "Hey, who stole ma' chips?!" Liz turns away from her guiltily. In the back, Kathryn yells, "What the hell?!" Quinnson sees a fly land on the surface in front of her, and so goes to bang it dead with her gavel. "What the f--" BANG "--ing hell?!" The fly isn't dead yet; Kathryn continues to yell in outrage, "YOU F--" BANG "--ING N--" BANG "--GERS!!!!" "Finally, I got it," Quinnson says, satisfied. "What that bitch say?!" Aliza yells, springing to her feet, and she begins climbing over seats in order to go whoop Kathryn's ass some. "Let's get out of here," Val says, grimacing; but, before she rolls out of the room, she exclaims, "Hey, Ben! Another lucky escape... you're gonna run out of those eventually." And then she's off, and Ben looks angry as all hell as both she and Kathryn exit. Aliza chases after them, crying, "Get back here, cracka' slag! You say my Mama was yo' fren'?! Well I'm yo' worst nightmare, beyOTCH!!" The yelling dissipates the further they drift away. One of the jurors is extremely keen to get out of here because, according to them, if this trial had dragged any longer then they would have missed "a very exclusive a lucrative opportunity - be jealous y'all" and then they're off out. "I'm outta here too," Greg announces, slamming his briefcase shut and flipping everybody off on his way out, "I have some goddamn praying to do. Damn." Joanna flips him off in turn and then gives Joe a celebratory kiss on the cheek as he moves past her, needing to speak with Tyson. "I cannot believe you did that..." is all his sullen self can think to utter, but Tyson just keeps on beaming at him, saying, "It's good! You don't have to go to jail now!" "But... but you do... and I can't let that happen," Joe exclaims, "I'll... I'll have to tell them the truth about what happened to Rochelle." "No," Tyson barks, "You can't!" and then he repeats, "'Lying: mostly not good, sometimes... good'. This time it was good!" "No it wasn't!" Joe insists, "I... The only reason I started all of this - the only reason I invested myself with these people in the first place - was to get you out of prison! And in a few minutes, they're gonna march you right back there! Don't you understand what that--" "I'm not going to prison," Tyson insists. "Tyson... you're--" "I'm not. I heard 'em talking, Joe. They wanna put me in a home. A nice place. Apparently some charity looks kindly on people like me... so I'll be okay. And you'll be too. 'Cause... 'cause you don't need me around your house none. I... I ruin things." "You don't--" "I do. So this is one of the lies that's good. I swear!" "Jorgio's charity..." Joanna utters, chiming into the conversation. "What?" Joe asks, turning to her in confusion. "Well, the one he backed. He was holding a fundraiser for it on the night that Jose Sanchez died." "Yeah. They're real good!" Tyson exclaims - for that was why he was at the Del Barrio mansion to be accused of the murder in the first place (see "Pilot"). The bailiffs then come over, ready to take Tyson away in handcuffs, and so quickly he gives his brother a hug as tight as a vice. "Goodbye, Joe," he says to him, "I love you." "I love you too," Joe utters as best he can, and then Tyson is dragged off of him and walked out of the courthouse - to be transported to a care home for the mentally impaired. Joanna takes Joe's hand as he watches this, everyone else still celebrating behind him, Judge Quinnson now getting up and heading out while claiming that she has some hardcore gossiping to go do after this case, and the former cop is left unsure of what to do or how to feel.

"Mum?!" Josh exclaims, making his way into Regina's home, and Ms. Gibbons herself emerges from the dining room. "Hello, dear," she greets, beckoning him to follow into the room where she's put out a fresh pot of hot tea (Silvia Montgomery would be utterly appalled). Pouring Josh a cup, she has him sit down. "So I hear your friend won?" Regina questions, and Josh kind of nods. "Yeah," he says, "Joe's brother... he did it." "Scandalous," Regina comments, making Josh a bit ill-at-ease, and she sits down with him. "So why did you call me over?" he questions, "You said it was important?" "Right, yes," Regina exclaims, pulling over some more documents she has lying across the table, "so I did research." Josh can tell, based on the numerous papers his mother has printed out with different articles, charts, numbers, etc. "All of the legality stuff is done; papers have been filed, and we're pretty much good to go..." "But?" Josh wonders, assuming there must be something more to it all. "But..." Regina goes on to reveal, "I also started looking around. The past couple days I've met with investors, experts in business, people from the country club..." "Oh..." Josh utters, not liking the sound of his mother's voice, "and what did they have to say?" Regina reaches across the table, taking her son's hand, and she says to him: "They all think what you want to do is amazing... that the world needs more custodian agencies." Josh faces lights up at this; however, to his dismay, Regina isn't done yet. "But not in Wikerly Hills," she then finishes, and Josh retracts his hand. "Wh- what?" he utters, and Regina gives her son a sympathetic look. "Josh, this town has custodian agencies... and they're not doing that well. Every other day there's a new trend or a new scandal. One minute, maids are relevant... but then it's butlers... oh, but then there's a masked serial killer as a butler... oh, but then the masked butler serial killer turns out to be a maid! This town is filled with corrupt people, murder, and mayhem. It's not a place to start up a new business, not when you're inexperienced and have yet to make a name for yourself." Josh is crushed by this, close to tears even, but not quite. "Then what am I supposed to do?" he utters, and so that brings Regina to the next thing she wished to discuss. "Like I said," she reminds him, "I spoke to investors and people who know the business. Once I realized Wikerly Hills was out of the question, I started to discuss other locations in America, considering how much you love living in this damned country... for whatever reason." Josh shrugs at this, not really knowing what to say, and Regina continues, "Basically, what it all came down to... was New York." "Wait, what?" Josh is taken aback by this, "But that's all the way across the country!" Regina nods, having feared he'd say that. "But hun, you have to understand," Regina reasons, "New York has cities like Wikerly Hills where the wealthy need butlers and maids and gardeners... and unlike Wikerly Hills, there's not a vast array of crime at every corner. No seasonal murder mysteries and decade old crimes and serial killers and exploding churches," that last example really stinging for Josh. "But... I have a life here. My friends... Joanna and the guys... Brad... our whole relationship took place in this town!" Regina nods at all of this, truly understanding why this is such a difficult decision; however, she pushes, "But you say you want to start the next chapter of your life, and that this is your new purpose. Maybe this is exactly what you need... a fresh start. You have a life here, yes, but with everything good that's happened to you here, hasn't there been just as much bad?" Josh considers this: his rape, being framed for murder, losing his husband and going insane… all of those and more come to mind. "It's all up to you, though," Regina makes clear, "It's your decision: do you stay here and continue the life you've already built, or move to New York and start the next chapter? Do you leave Wikerly Hills, or not?" Josh is left to ponder this.

A neighborhood over, meanwhile, Mary is seen opening her front door to find Rena standing there, who doesn't hesitate in embracing his girlfriend in an ever-so-passionate kiss. "We won," he exclaims, before embracing her again, but Mary backs away, confused. "The trial," Rena clarifies, with glee, "Joe's been exonerated!" "Oh my, that's great news!" Mary exclaims, motioning him inside, "We should have a drink to celebrate." She makes her way into the kitchen to get the tequila in order to poor them each a shot, and all the while Rena stands there admiring her. As Mary pours the shots, she looks up at her boyfriend and notices the dopey grin on his face. "What?" she asks, awkwardly, but Rena just shakes his head. "I don't know," he admits, "I've just... I've been thinking lately, is all. These past couple days as that trial continued to drag." "Oh?" Mary questions, handing her boyfriend his shot, "What about?" "Just... you," he says, "how you've been there for me, even though I don't always make it so easy for you." "Ain't that the truth," Mary comments, taking her shot, and Rena downs his own. "No, but yeah," he says, "really, I can say these last nine months being with you have been some of the best of my life... which is weird considering how much hell I've been put through." "Yeah, well, I've had a good time with you too," she chuckles, but that's not all Rena has to say. "And especially these last couple weeks," he adds, "I mean, first you saved my ass from the Devious Butlers, and then you've... well, you've really been there for me since Theresa was... yeah." Mary frowns at this, truly feeling sympathy for his loss, but reaffirms, "I've just done what any good girlfriend would." "But that's just it," Rena says, "You're my girlfriend... you've stayed with me through everything... through me kinda leeching off you for six months, and then accusing you of being the Devious Butler, and then nearly getting myself killed by the Devious Butler." "I'm... not sure what you want me to say," Mary admits, "You know how I feel about you. I... love you." "I know," Rena says in turn, "and I love you too... more and more each day, really. You're there for me, and you make me happy. It's not something I'm exactly used to, if we're being honest here." "Yeah, well, I guess I can say the same," Mary exclaims, "Relationships have never been my thing." "But this one is, right?" Rena questions, this being where Mary is starting to grow weary. "Well... yes?" she says, and Rena smiles. "I'm glad. You and I. Rena and Mary. Renary. Taking the world by storm, side by side." Mary really is starting to grow uncomfortable by this though, just as she is whenever talk of their relationship starts to become too serious. "Rena, where are you going with this?" she finally asks of him, and to her complete and utter shock, he does the last thing she would ever want him to do ever... and that's get down on one knee, pulling a diamond ring from his pocket. "Oh, no..." she utters, and Rena exclaims, "It's Silvia's... I didn't exactly have time to purchase a new one, so this is kinda like filler until we can go out and get the real thing." "Rena..." Mary exclaims, but he doesn't hear her out. Instead, he finally asks the inevitable question: "Maria Solano, will you marry me?" There's just silence though as Mary blinks. "Um..." is all that she manages to utter in response, and Rena furrows a brow.

Still inside the courthouse, Ben remains sitting on one of the benches, thinking to himself, seething from how he left things with Val back there. In his mind, we see what he sees - that is, what he wants most - and that is the image of him with his baby daughter in his arms. No Val in sight, just him and the little girl he's always wanted. "I love you," he whispers to her, and she smiles up at him and gurgles, trying to grab his nose. He laughs, and then he's dragged back to reality. We see on his face his internal struggle - how is he to make this a reality? And then he looks to the exit and an idea seems to sweep him.
Joe and Joanna are only just now leaving the courthouse, the former finally having come to terms with what's gone down and the latter trying her best to silently cheer him up. As they approach the car, they are surprised to be approached by an out-of-breath Ben, who says, "I'm so glad I caught you." "What do you want?" Joe wonders, a little too sullen for conversation, and Ben admits, "It's actually your wife I wanted to talk to." "Oh," Joe nods, "I'll be in the car." With that, he sinks on down to the passenger seat and Joanna steps to one side with one of her many former butlers. "Could you make it quick, Ben? I've got a lot on my plate." "Sorry," Ben tells her, "I'll try to make it quick...ish." Joanna frowns, at which Ben points out, "You tried to buy one of my babies, alright? You owe me a favor." "Fair enough," Joanna concedes, "What is it you want me to do? Drive you someplace? Teach you how to make a decent cocktail?" "It's more your services as a 'lawyer' that I require," Ben reveals, and Joanna grows intrigued.
Over at the Von Trump mansion, Val is "pacing" in Rochelle's wheelchair (driving in a circle around one of the large rooms) while Kathryn sits in an armchair nursing a martini, crumpling the letter from Nadia in her hands. She closes her eyes for a moment, which is when she sees Rochelle standing before her, uttering, "You done gone failed me, hoebag. I thought we was chums? Now I see you no more skilled than my Generic Black Son's sorry dead ass." Her eyes open. "I. Hate. Butlers. So. Much," she growls as she continues to scrunch up that paper, and Val exclaims, "Preachin' to the choir, muffin!" as she keeps on whizzing around the room, "God I want a muffin..." "Don't mention that bastard to me," Kathryn tells her, "If he were real, Generic White Guy would be behind bars! And Gay White Guy, Gayer White Guy and Gayest Not-White Guy would be there with him." "Which one's Ben?" Val takes a moment to wonder, applying the brakes, and Kathryn tells her, "Gayer, duh." "Hm," Val nods, then going in more circles in order to clear her head. The doorbell is heard ringing and Kathryn gets up in order to go answer it, jumping out of the way of the speeding chair as she heads to the front door. She opens it to Joanna DeWar, who is holding a brown file. "Hello, Kathryn," she greets, and her eyes flicker down to what Kathryn's holding - the crumpled note from Nadia, and Joanna catches a flash of her old partner's handwriting, though is forced to shrug it off when Kathryn suddenly exclaims, "Wait, why the hell am I answering my own door?" and slams it in Joanna's face. "I wish I could say that wasn't expected," Joanna nods to herself, "At least no one's been kidnapped this time." (see "Sweeping Beauty" and "Manservant in the Mirror") Inside, Kathryn screeches, "VAL! Joanna Winters is here, go answer the door." Val sighs, hitting the brakes and then revving the engine past her boss and arriving at the front door where Joanna is still waiting. She leans forward, which strains her big pregnant belly some, and opens it, and says, "Hi. Kathryn's indisposed. Can I help you?" "It's actually you I wanted to see, dear," Joanna reveals, "Valentina Cortez," and then she hands her the brown file, "You've been served." With that, she casually walks away, back to her car, and Val opens up the file in shock. "Ben..." she hisses.
Which brings us to the Del Barrio mansion. "I hope this clears completely before the red carpet photographs," Liz comments while looking at herself in the dressing table mirror of her and Ali's bedroom, in reference to what remains of the stab wound inflicted to her arm by the Devious Butler, "People are gonna think I'm a self-harmer." "Mhm," is all Ali has to respond while lying back on the bed, deep in thought, and Liz turns to her, wondering what's wrong. "Hm?" Ali questions, and Liz goes to sit down on the bed beside her, beckoning Ali to sit up. "You've been all distracted ever since yesterday morning," Liz figures, "What's up?" "I've just been... thinking... about Jorgio," Ali finally admits, and Liz nods, "Because of the testimony? I was scared it might bring up some old feelings, but--" "No, that's the thing," Ali butts in, "I've been wondering if those feelings really are all that old." "What do you mean?" "Well... it's just, I've done so much to move on. I started a charity to combat his old... business. I fell in love with you, someone who would risk their life for me," she strokes Liz's arm gently, "but... I'm still in this house. A house with a dungeon, where old women apparently get murdered and all other manner of bad and creepy things go on. Filled with things that Jorgio has... used and touched, myself included. I just... I think Silvia's right." "What are you saying? Because you know we're hosting a premiere party here like real soon, right?" "Yeah, I know... which means it's the perfect opportunity, isn't it?" "For what?" "A bit of spring cleaning," Ali smiles. "It's Fall," Liz points out, and Ali begs, "Don't ruin my thing." And with that, she stands up... and sets off. We see her moving through the Del Barrio mansion with a box in tow, pouring tchotchkes and whatever else into it, literally sweeping the shelves. We next see her tearing down a flaky piece of wallpaper, and then a strip, and soon enough she's attacking the whole wall. "I'm glad you're being cathartic, sweetie, but again, if you could avoid destroying the party areas. Love you," Liz minds as she chases after her girlfriend some. Ali sweeps more things into more boxes. She's also seen down in the basement chamber, taking a power drill to any and all old shackles still on the wall, removing them with great vehemence. In the wine cellar, smashing some of Jorgio's old bottles. "Joanna would kill me if she saw me right now," Ali laughs, uncorking one bottle with her teeth and downing the contents some, then smashing that as well. We then see her sweeping up, because it'd be rude to stick Ben with that work and she's a nice human. More boxes, and soon she's out in the garage with a pile of them, making a bit of a clank. "I think that's every secret passage cleared. Everything that bastard ever picked out," Ali nods proudly, "A clean slate... at least the start to one." Liz comes up behind her and puts her arms around her, giving her a kiss on the cheek in support, and Ali relishes this. "I'll donate what I can, burn what I can't," the blonde decides, and Liz is fond of this plan. "Ooh, wait," Ali then remembers, heading to a secret closet within the garage wall and pulling out some more boxes, which used to belong to Jose. She picks one up, and Liz wonders if she's gonna burn those too, but Ali shrugs, thinking for a moment.
Meanwhile, just outside the garage, Val revs the wheelchair up the driveway and approaches the front door, again straining against her giant baby bump in order to knock hard on it. "OPEN UP! OPEN UP NOW!" she screams, still clutching the folder, and it's Jennifer who comes to answer her. "Can I help you?" she wonders, only for Val to push her out the way while speeding on past her into the house, screeching, "Move it, Kelly Macdonald!" "I prefer Amy Manson," Jennifer calls after her meekly, but Val just flips her off and keeps on excavating through the recently cleared-out house, meaning Jennifer just shrugs and closes the door, going to go mop someplace. "Ben! BEN!" Val continues to rage, but it soon becomes apparent that he's not on the ground floor, and so, with all the strength she can muster, the heavily pregnant woman ill-advisedly climbs on out of her chair, and, fueled by her utter fury, begins climbing the many stairs the mansion has to offer.
Ben, currently, is sweeping the infamous balcony of the topmost tower, just off the Del Barrio study, down from the security room. "This would not be a good place to fall from," he comments to himself, looking down and remembering his ex-fiancée's death, and then - "You're suing me?!" Ben turns around to see his hulking babymama standing within the doorframe of the study, breathing heavily and still holding up that brown file, a little hunched from all the stairs she's just had to tackle, bear in mind she's been unable to do so for a while now. "Oh, you saw Joanna, then?" Ben responds coolly, quickly dropping his broom and stepping inside, shutting and locking the balcony doors behind him in one swift motion lest he be the next person to be swung off its railings to the poolside below. "Yes, I saw her!" Val keeps on raging, "What the hell is this garbage?!" "It may have escaped your notice, Val," Ben responds, refusing to rise to her anger, "and, frankly, it doesn't shock me considering that complete and utter circus of a court we've all been partaking in for the past several days, but it's illegal to record someone's conversation without their knowledge or consent in California, and share it publicly." "Oh... right... we're in California," Val remembers grumpily, "Well, you're gonna drop this, right away - if you wanna have any sort of access to your child!" She makes this clear by literally dropping the file onto the floor, finally managing to stand up straight and stroke her large baby-filled belly. "But, you see, you already took my chance for custody off the table, Val. Months ago. Meaning you don't have anything left to threaten me with, really." Val's face goes stony at this, she stares at Ben some. He smiles, and she looks like she might be sick, unable to respond. "You see," he goes on, smile still intact, "For once, I actually have the upper-hand. So how about we switch up that little demand of yours? I drop the suit - and take full custody." His smile turns to an expression of resoluteness, and Val looks as though she's about to explode at him; maul him some. "You bastard... you really think you can--" "We both know this baby will be better off with me," he adds, "You've proven time and time again - despite every last chance that I've given you - that you haven't got a loving bone in your body. You couldn't possibly care for a child." "That's not true!" Val squawks, "I loved my sister... the one you murdered! Right here!" She gestures the balcony doors, and Ben rolls his eyes, "It always comes back to that, doesn't it? The convoluted revenge for some half-sister you didn't even like." "I lov--" "I loved her," Ben argues, "And I also love my friends. I would do anything for them, you see. Anything to protect them. It was all well and good when it was just me you were targeting in these sick little ploys of yours... but you went after someone I care about. And that's just not gonna fly, bitch." "How dare you call me a bitch? I am a mother-to-be!" "You're a disaster waiting to happen," Ben corrects, and Val, suddenly biting back her anger, does her best to try and compose herself for the moment. "Well, well," she starts, "Look who finally grew a backbone. I should threaten your friends more often. I never would have conceived a baby with this Ben." "You mean when you raped me?" he spits. "I don't know what you mean," Val goes on, stepping forward, "All I've done is take logical steps towards the vengeance that my late sister deserves." "Logical?" Ben almost laughs, quite mirthlessly, "Where's the so-called 'logic' to any of the things you've done since you got here?! Trying - ridiculously - to oust me with Ali, trying to blackmail me with a ring, violating me back into fatherhood!..." "Yes, I've been trying to destroy you!" Val admits, her composure lost (and Ben's, too, is long gone by this point), "You don't like people going after your friends, Ben? WELL I DON'T LIKE IT WHEN PEOPLE THROW MY FAMILY MEMBERS OFF OF BALCONIES!" "THEN IT'S JOE YOU SHOULD BE DESTROYING, NOT ME!" Ben finds himself screaming at her, his face red, veins popping all over the place, and silence falls after it - save for the heavy breathing of both of them. "W-what?" Val finally utters. "Nothing," Ben sighs, taking a step back (the two of them got quite close to one another during the progression of the argument). "J-Joe? DeWar? He's the one who killed my sister?" Ben refuses to speak any further though, and Val whispers, "And you defend him?" "Because he's my friend!" Ben finally jumps back into it, "And newsflash, your sister was a freakin' killer, okay?! She wasn't the only one to be thrown from this balcony, you know! Long before Joe smashed her beloved Matthew's urn over her head, she slashed Jose Sanchez's throat! All because he slept with Matthew to begin with! You'd have liked your sister's crush, Val - he was a rapist, just like you! And then she held me and my friends all at gunpoint! It's no wonder she tossed me back that ring now, is it?! AND YOU DEFEND HER!" Val is stunned. Utterly stunned. She goes to say something but physically can't. And so... she just takes the little tape recorder from out of her apron pocket, rewinding it some and then replaying the part where Ben's voice can be heard saying, "...wasn't the only one to be thrown from this balcony, you know! Long before Joe smashed her beloved Matthew's urn over her head...!" and then she pauses. "I thought bugs were a little too modern," she finally responds, "Decided to go back to the basics, just on the off-chance." "You... you can't use that," Ben murmurs, "It'll... it'll just give me further grounds to sue you." "You know what?" Val tells him, "I think I can live with that. It's gonna be so worth it now." "Oh, just... get out, Val!" Ben screams at her, unable to take any more of this, "Just get out of my sight! NOW!" He turns around unable to look at her, and she re-pockets the tape recorder, feeling entirely victorious. And then, just as she's leaving the room... splash. Ben gives a start as he hears this, and then Val whips back around to the best of her ability, trying not to slip on the puddle now at her feet, and whispers, "My water just broke..." It's then that, downstairs, Ali accidentally drops one of the particularly heavy boxes she's carrying out of the garage, a noise reverberating through the whole mansion: "Of course it f--" BANG "--ing did," Ben utters, turning around as well.

In one of the last churches left in Wikerly Hills, Greg can be seen heading for the front pew, whipping out his little crucifix and murmuring some evening prayers. "And if you could make it so that no more retards screw over my cases, Father, that'd be sweet. Thanks. Once again I pray for forgiveness for all the anal sex I have that I've got no plan to stop having, and..." he goes on. As he does, footsteps can be heard behind him, along with some other murmurings. "...so beautiful, the most beautiful thing I've ever seen..." "Um, excuse me, I'm trying to have a private chat with the G-man here, and I don't mean me," Greg says, standing up to turn to and affront this person, who doesn't even seem to notice he's there. "Hey," he realizes, "You were one of the jurors, right? Didn't you have some lucrative... thingy?" "...never anything more beautiful... I'll do as you wish," she whispers, putting down her handbag in the middle of the aisle, still muttering as she turns around and abandons it, beginning to leave the church. "God's not real, can't kill what's not real," it seems she's hypnotized or something, "I see now, super, super see." "What the hell?!" Greg questions, earning him a scowl from the minister, and he quickly apologizes. "You forgot your bag, weirdo!" he calls after the vacated juror, approaching her handbag, which is about the point that it starts... beeping. "What the--?" he starts again, opening it up to reveal a crudely-crafted homemade bomb. "Jesus Christ!" he exclaims before the whole church explodes with him in it.
POP goes the cork from the top of Joanna's wine bottle, as she pours herself a glass to toast to Joe getting away scot-free with murder. "We should start a club!" she exclaims as she sits down next to him, but he doesn't look too much in the mood for celebrating. "I let Tyson take the fall... forgive me if I'm not in much of a drinking mood," he tells his wife. "But you heard him," Joanna tries to comfort, "He's not going back to prison. He's going somewhere he's gonna get round-the-clock care. Care better than we could provide. And heck, he wouldn't be any better off if you'd been the one to get yourself locked up, then he'd have no one to look after him and the situation would be even worse." "He'd have you." "Yeah but asdfghj," Joanna replies, her sentence disappearing as she pointedly sips from her wineglass. Joe gives a sigh of sadness and Joanna tells him, "Look, you're still the amazing brother you always were. You still saved Tyson when he most needed it, when all that Jose stuff was going down. And now... he's repaid the favor. Think of this as his chance to be the amazing brother." Joe feels unsure, and Joanna kisses his cheek. There's a knock at the door, and Joanna requests that Joe be the one to go get that while she goes and fetches a nicer, more-fitting-of-a-celebration bottle from down in the basement. "What's the point of having a butler if they're off having their own stories?" she wonders aloud as she begins to descend the basement steps, and Joe, still rather sullen, begins slowly making his way towards the door. Ali is standing on the other side of it, toting behind herself a little wagon filled with boxes. "Hey, Joe," she says, dragging the wagon on inside, "I was just doing a little clearing out over at my place - Jorgio's stuff and such - and I was wondering if you might be interested in some of this stuff." She parks the wagon of boxes by the coffee table where Joanna's wine glass still rests, and Joe asks, "You thought I might like it because... all the precious memories I have with my dear father?" "Oh, no, this isn't Jorgio's stuff," Ali assures, "This is Jose's. I remember you and your mom wanted to take a look at it a while back now?" (see "Wash Upon a Star") "Oh, right, yeah," Joe comes to recall, "I'd forgotten, to be honest." "Well, I figured I'd hold out on throwing it out in case there was anything in here you still wanted." "Thanks, Ali," Joe tells her, sitting back down on the couch in that mopey fashion of his and picking up a leather collar which he supposes is evidence from Jose's blackmail scheme on Liz. He tosses it to one side ("Oh, I guess I'll take that for... yeah..." Ali murmurs, picking it on up) which is when he sees... "Hmmm..." Joe murmurs, and Ali wonders what it is he's found. She watches as he pulls out a videotape, looking as though it was pulled straight from the security tower of the mansion from whence it came, only it's labeled with a pair of words which pique Joe's interest indeed. "Well," Joe responds, "I guess we'll have to see." His mopey demeanor seems to have been replaced with one of excitement as he flips the tape over and we see that, written on it, is: "MARE ATHEI".

Unanswered Questions

  • Did Nadia leave the knife for Joanna? If so, how did she come to suspect the switch?
  • Why did the church explode? Who was behind it?
  • Who paid Rochelle to kidnap Joe?
  • Was Troy involved in the church explosion?
  • Who killed Troy and why did he have Joe's name written on his hand?
  • How was the site of Rochelle's burial known to Nadia?
  • What grand plot is Nadia apparently so busy with?
  • Why was the original Joanna's body being kept in the Von Trump basement?
  • To what extent is the WHPD under Nadia's thumb?
  • What connection exists between Nadia and Kathryn, if any? Is Kathryn the new Emilie?
  • Where are Val's bugs hidden? What evidence have they been able to pick up?
  • What was the juror's opportunity and why did they appear entranced into blowing up the church?
  • Why did Jose have a tape bearing the Mare Athei moniker?